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Pray the Church in Azerbaijan grows despite opposition.
Photo: The Central Intelligence Agency

A court in Azerbaijan's capital Baku will determine if Greater Grace Protestant Church should be liquidated in a decision likely to be made on April 19. If the court upholds the liquidation suit filed by the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations, all the church's communal activity will become illegal. The church had state registration for 19 years.

The possible closure is one of many examples of the country's recent attempts to restrict freedom of religion and belief. The country's leaders are brazenly defying international human rights commitments by banning all exercise of freedom of religion or belief without state permission and imposing heavy penalties for those who fail to obey.

The State Committee has not registered hundreds of religious communities that applied for the compulsory re-registration required by harsh amendments to the Religion Law in 2009 (for more on this law, click here). As of April 2012, only 570 religious communities were registered on the State Committee website and none had been added to the list since November 2011.

Please pray that the Greater Grace Protestant Church's congregation will find joy in this trial, knowing that proving their faith genuine will result in praise, glory and honour for Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7). Pray that, despite these restrictions, Christians in Azerbaijan will continue to meet together and share the Good News with others.

Please visit the Azerbaijan Country Report to learn more about persecution in Azerbaijan.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
10,282,283 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Azerbaijani (91.6), Lezghin (2), Russian (1.3), Armenian (1.3), Talysh (1.3), other (2.4)

Religions (%)
Islam (97.3), Christianity (2.6), other (0.1)

Leader
President Ilham Aliyev (2003)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Civil law system

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Azerbaijan

Pray for peace within the hearts of the Azerbaijani people who are living amid political instability. May the country's governmental authorities be willing to grant Christians their fundamental freedoms, enabling them to worship freely and share their faith openly with others of their communities.

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